It may be only a month since a recruitment drive was launched to find volunteers for the 2015 South-east Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore, but the organisers have received an encouraging response.
To date, more than 5,000 have signed up to be volunteers at the biennial regional multi-sports event which Singapore last hosted in 1993, while a further 8,000 have pledged their interest to do so. The Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee (SINGSOC), which is targeting over 15,000 volunteers for the Games, confirmed the numbers.
“People want to be part of history, and this sporting experience … which ignites a sense of pride as it is an event our country is hosting,” said Pauline Loo, SINGSOC’s Head of Volunteer Management.
Next year’s SEA Games will be held from June 5 to 16, with the soon-to-be-completed S$1.33 billion Sports Hub set to be the main venue.
Loo also noted that a number of volunteers were also involved in Singapore’s hosting of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2010 and past editions of the SEA Games.
“We did not track how many of the sign-ups we have so far are past volunteers of YOG or SEA Games, but some have pointed out to us that they are. It’s a lot about national pride too,” she said. “It is heartening to see so much support from the people of Singapore in this event … After the June SEA Games, we will also encourage them to volunteer for the Para Games in December in which Singapore will host for the first time.”
Apart from its recruitment drive which was held at the NTUC Building in Raffles Place on Jan 5 which attracted 1,000 sign-ups that day, SINGSOC has also sought for volunteers through its SEA Games 2015 Facebook page and official website. It also tapped the Singapore Sports Council’s (SSC) database of past volunteers who had helped out in local sporting events such as the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon.
Said Andrew Tan, who volunteered his photography skills for the 2015 Games: “It is a win-win situation when SSC approached me last year, as I like to shoot too. I’m excited about getting close to the athletes and being able to capture important moments. It will be extra special because I get access to the new Sports Hub.”
SINGSOC will hold another recruitment drive on Feb 15 during the “Singapore 2015 launch party” at Gardens by the Bay, with President Tony Tan Keng Yam as the event’s guest-of-honour.
Loo said SINGSOC will interview the volunteers to find out what jobs they want to take on. “When we have the numbers we want, we will hold interviews to match the volunteers to job scopes most suited to them, and arrange dates for briefings and training sessions,” she said.
There are roles available in corporate support services, workforce management, corporate communications and public relations, marketing and sponsorship, sports and venue operations, operations and games services, culture and education programmes, information technology, and logistics and finance.
“Thorough interviews and training sessions will be carried out so as to ensure the smooth running of the SEA Games,” said Loo, who added that volunteers may be given SEA Games memorabilia such as goodie bags and T-shirts in appreciation.
Last September, the SSC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute of Technical Education for its students to help out in the planning and execution of the Games.
Singapore 2015 Launch Party Fact Box:
Venue: The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay
Date: 15th February, Saturday
Time: 5.30pm to 11.00pm
Admission is free-of-charge